Last night, I attended a workshop where I met 32 actors. Their pictures and résumés are sitting right here on my desk. I thought it might be fun to see what comes to mind as I review the material.
Holding the entire stack in my hands, I realize a few actors gave me headshots that are 8 by 12 inches, not 8 by 10 inches. What's that about? Are they hoping the pictures will stand out? If you deviate from what's considered professional, you'll look like an amateur. So just say no to oversize headshots.
Leafing through the résumés, I see that none of the actors have taken the time to update their union status to SAG-AFTRA. Are these people lazy, or have they been living in a cave for the last few months? If I were an actor, I would've made the change right after the merger was announced.
Let's get specific. Anne's headshot is on top. She has an excellent picture, but when I flip it over to look at her résumé, I see the name of a manager I can't stand. The guy's a real jerk, and there's no way anyone at my company would work with him. So be careful about whom you choose to manage your career. Do your homework. Make smart choices.
Next up is Amber. She's cute. But maybe she's too cute. At the top of her résumé, Amber has written, "Your Agency Right Here." I know it's wrong to hold this against her, but I just can't help it. This sort of thing makes me gag.
Now I'm looking at Jeff, a strapping young man with a strong jaw. But the résumé says he's 3 feet 6. That's funny. I don't remember meeting any little people last night. Oh, wait. He transposed the numbers. Jeff is actually 6 feet 3. What a dope.
The next picture is a mystery. It doesn't have a name at the bottom, and there's no résumé attached. I'm glancing through the stack, but I can't find a loose sheet of paper. I guess I dropped it last night when I was running to my car. Oh well, that's life. If an actor isn't smart enough to staple a picture and a résumé together, then the actor's probably not ready for a decent agent.
Moving on, I notice quite a few actors have asterisks next to their stage work. Looking down, I see the asterisks point out excellent reviews they received from publications I've never heard of. Am I supposed to be impressed? For all I know, the critic could be their friend.
Oh no! The next picture just made me laugh out loud. It's an actor named Jamie who speaks with the worst lisp I've ever heard. The guy sounds like a drunken Spaniard. I'm not the type to make fun of a speech impediment, but there's no way this actor will ever find work unless he takes an advanced vocal class.
Adrienne has a nicely formatted résumé without any professional credits. That's fine. Everyone has to start somewhere. That's why I always recommend studying with teachers who are known to the industry. Looking down at the training section, I see some good news. Adrienne is in a level five class at The Groundlings. That's impressive. But wait. I just realized there's no level five class at The Groundlings. They stop at four. Busted!
Before pitching the whole stack, I take out two pictures and résumés. They belong to actors with promise. I'm not ready to bring them in for a meeting, but I'm going to save their material so I can check in with them in a few months.
And that's how it usually goes. Finding clients at a workshop is like searching for pearls at the bottom of the ocean. But hey, I'm an agent. That's what I do for a living. And hope springs eternal